This begs the question: should companies be focusing their efforts on getting their brand surfaced by ChatGPT?
Can ChatGPT Surface My Brand?
Why did Appcues appear in a ChatGPT search?
Appcues has been around for over a decade. They have plenty of material out there targeting keywords relevant to them. As of the time of writing, ChatGPT is trained on historical data up until April 2023 — which means it has a lot of information on Appcues.
Meanwhile, for lesser known brands, nothing you do today will impact raw ChatGPT results — until perhaps the next update, which costs millions of dollars and only happens about once a year.
As a marketer, the scary part about this is you can't really control it apart from being around and having enough stuff on the internet for OpenAI to have scraped and used in their training data before 2022.
The two factors that seem to impact whether or not you get mentioned are:
you need quantity: your brand needs to be mentioned a lot. If you're not a mature brand, this proves difficult
you need similar terms: your brand needs to be associated with keywords people might ask ChatGPT
How to Increase Your Chances of Your Brand Surfacing in ChatGPT
There's not much you can do to increase your chances of being surfaced by ChatGPT but focus on volume. With this in mind:
have more webpages about your brand associated with keywords you are targeting
have more webpages across different sites, not just your site — G2, Capterra, app store reviews, Reddit, YouTube comments, etc
Optimize For SEO and Generative Engine Optimization (GEO)
It's no secret that generative AI is changing SEO and the search experience in general. AI and smarter search tools, such as Google's SGE, Bing, and Perplexity, use a combination of SERP results and AI to generate their results.
You need to optimize for SEO and for generative engine optimization (GEO) to improve your visibility in an increasingly AI-powered internet experience. Here's I am talking about this changing environment with Rick Koleta:
Researchers from Princeton University, Georgia Tech, Allen Institute for AI, and IIT Delhi recently developed a Generative Engine Optimization technique (GEO) that increased visibility of smaller, lower-ranked websites by 115%, allowing them to outrank larger corporate sites in AI search results.
Here's what they found:
“Interestingly, websites that are ranked lower in SERP, which typically struggle to gain visibility, benefit significantly more from GEO than those ranked higher.
For instance, the Cite Sources method led to a substantial 115.1% increase in visibility for websites ranked fifth in SERP, while on average the visibility of the top-ranked website decreased by 30.3%.
…the application of GEO methods presents an opportunity for these small content creators to significantly improve their visibility in Generative Engine responses.
By enhancing their content using GEO, they can reach a wider audience, thereby leveling the playing field and allowing them to compete more effectively with larger corporations in the digital space.”
The strategies with the most impact in the study were:
Using expert quotes
For the most part, this requires a concentrated effort on your part to diligently research and reach out to experts who can give you this sort of proprietary data.
You can speed up this process with Letterdrop, which has features for pulling stats from the web automatically, as well as automatically turning expert quotes into videos ready for YouTube.
The Right Way Companies Should Be Using ChatGPT and AI
ChatGPT (and tools like it) is a versatile tool that can be used as an assistant in content creation, able to automate several marketing tasks and save you a ton of time. It's also a great foundation for chatbot development — you could easily create a live chatbot on your site with little coding experience.
But generative AI bots have insane limits. In our context, they have never used a product and can't be trusted to make good recommendations. People still don't know how to use it and still do ask for recommendations, though.
As a user, I don't feel comfortable trusting its information, especially since AI happily gives you answers from the SERPs ranging from Nobel-prize winning writers to unqualified strangers brain dumping on Reddit. It doesn't have the same quality-checks in place that Google does.
Here's what you shouldn't be using AI for:
Unreviewed user-facing content. ChatGPT and generative AI in general tend to hallucinate and make up facts — don't put it in front of customers as-is
Truthful, first-party data and perspectives. ChatGPT can't give you an up-to-date rundown on keyword data or unique perspectives
Keyword research. Most models, including ChatGPT, don't have access to real-time data
What you should be using ChatGPT and AI for:
Summarizing a lot of information
Transforming content from one format into another (such as video to text)
Unique Perspectives and Data Increases Your Visibility in SEO and GEO
Whether your brand gets surfaced or not in ChatGPT is biased in favor of more mature companies, and will call for more of a focus on volume.
More important than volume is unique value that will let you stand out on SERPs saturated with copycat content and AI-generated drivel.
Getting more visibility in both SEO and GEO comes down to bringing truly unique data and perspectives to the table — and we have expertise and features at Letterdrop that can help you do that in half the time.
Reach out to us or check out our blog for more resources on changing search and how to optimize for it — automatically.
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